This past fall, state Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers had asked for salary hikes of about 11 percent in the next fiscal year and then 5.5 percent annually for the following three years. That would have increased the Superior Court judges' annual salaries to $191,890. Rogers had said there was evidence that judicial salaries are one reason that a growing number of experienced jurists have left the bench in recent years in order to take private sector legal jobs.
At the same time, Rogers said, some younger lawyers, including members of minority groups, are saying that they won't consider a judicial appointment for financial reasons. On Wednesday, Rogers thanked members of the judicial pay commission for their efforts.
"They spent an enormous amount of time collecting, reviewing and analyzing information as a part of their responsibilities," Rogers said in a prepared statement. "Considering the current status of the state budget, I am pleased with the Commission's recommendations."
Under the proposal, Appellate Court judges would see salaries increase from $152,637 to $187,661 over the four-year period. Supreme Court justices would make $199,811 four years from now, up from a current salary of $162,520.
The two highest paid people in the court system, after four years passed,would be the Chief Court Administrator, who would eventually make $207,512 and the Chief Justice, who would make $215,948.